The Playboy Billionaire (The Romero Brothers, Book 3) (6 page)

BOOK: The Playboy Billionaire (The Romero Brothers, Book 3)
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Zack was officially on a diet of cold
showers and probably self-serving gratification for the long haul. He was not
going to screw this up. He could do this.
Keep
your distance from her, Zack
. Blue was beautifully tempting, a sweet threat
to his celibacy run.

His lips curled into a grin.

 
 
 
 
CHAPTER FOUR
 

Almost four weeks later, Blue felt as if
she was finally getting a grasp on things. It was early in the morning on a
clear, cloudless summer day in the country. She could see off in the distance
the blueness of the lake blending with the bright horizon. Her eyes drank in
the vivid colors of aqua blue and gorgeous turquoise as the sun reflected off
the water. She had already set up her tripod, video editing equipment, digital
camera and microphone on the site and thought about the subjects she was going
to cover during her tenure filming the short documentary.

During the past few weeks, Blue came into
work early—before the first sign of dawn to capture footage of the land
as the sun rose inviting in warm hues of rouge and orange rays of light
blending with the horizon. One day, Zack had turned up and was surprised to see
her there at 5:47 a.m. sunrise time. She learned that rising with the sun meant
a lot to the brothers, something to do with their mother, who had passed away,
but they never got into what really happened to their mom. She knew there were
unlocked chambers in Zack’s life that would never open. She wondered how badly
he was hurt, so bad that he could not even talk about it. Blue's heart ached
for him. She knew how that felt, when she lost her own wonderful parents so
tragically. There was nothing that could heal some
heartbreaks
,
she figured. Death was so final. All one could do was to focus on the fond memories
and be glad that they were a part of one’s life.

It was clear Zack was passionate about his
work and Blue really wanted to capture that fully. She had grown to genuinely respect
Zack based on knowing him personally, as much as he allowed, and learning more
about him through his workers. And…best of all, he never tried to get "fresh"
with her.
So much for his playboy image persona.

Blue was so focused on getting all the footage
just right. Her main focus now was to capture hundreds of shots from various
angles and then decide on which to narrow them down to and where to tighten the
focus.

Blue gazed off at the magnificent scenery
of the estate while inhaling the calming scent of the grapes from the vine that
filled the atmosphere.

Divine.

She could work here forever.

“This is the Romero Winery and Vineyard,”
she began recording against the backdrop of the vineyard from up on the hill.
The wind rustled her hair as she faced her video camera propped on the tripod.
“Thousands of acres of glorious land that stretches across the city of…” Blue
bit down on her lip. She shook her head. “No. Wrong.” She fiddled with the
buttons on the remote to press the pause button on her camera.

And she blew a deep breath of air that
caused her bangs to swing up off her face. She then started the recorder again.
“This is the fantastic Winery and Vineyard of Romero…” she stopped herself again,
then
growled while hitting the pause button.

What the hell had gotten into her so suddenly?
Zack.

Why
was this man
possessing
her mind again? Because no man had ever made her feel the way
smooth, sexy Zack had. And they hadn’t even touched…yet.

Not that she thought she could even get
there with him. The man clearly had other things on his mind. Blue had been
there for four weeks and outside of very brief fly-by conversations, nothing
much happened.

Heck, they hadn’t even had a chance to
spend an ample amount of time alone so that she could really interview him one-on-one.

The summer breeze may be on the calm side
today but inwardly she herself was a nervous wreck. This was, after all, her
first time actually filming a documentary—even though it had been a few
weeks. She started off with bits and pieces of information and capturing
different shots of the vineyard and speaking with a myriad of vineyard workers.
She saw Zack on a few occasions to her heart’s chagrin. Whenever she did catch
a few glimpses of him, her heart sped up and it felt like bumblebees were
dancing in her belly.

This charming and alluring man was
overwhelming her senses. Gorgeous wasn’t even the best word to describe his
royal handsomeness. Still, he had kept their conversations brief and clipped
and she wondered why he was being more distant with her than his other
staffers. Did he still, deep down, hold her accountable for what happened to
his brother, Lucas, last year?

Why was Zack really distancing himself from
her? Blue couldn’t help but feel terrible inside. But she mustered up the courage
to plug on with a cheery smile. She kept reminding herself she was there to do
a job. Nothing more.

She’d overheard him speaking with his
brother when she was out in the vineyard capturing the method in which workers
pruned vines with grapes. His brother, Carl, had apparently teased him with a
"watch out, she’s not on the menu, remember?" Not on the menu? And
then she’d heard Carl say something about Zack being on a strict diet to which
Zack had imparted a scathing look.

 

Later in the afternoon, her heart turned
over in her chest. Zack had returned. They would finally get a chance to sit
down for the first time in four weeks since she’d first spoken with him. This
was not the casual walk by, idle chitchat but a real sit down conversation.

After Zack participated in a yet another wine
tour and showed Blue around another area of the estate, they settled back in
his office. No matter how much she thought she saw of the Romero estate, there was
much more she hadn’t seen. The place was massive! But then it shouldn’t
surprise her much since Toni Romero was a real estate mogul. Land and property were
his business. It looked as if he’d bought up most of the town of Mayberry Hill.

Blue sat down in the plush chair in Zack’s
spacious office for a follow-up meeting. He was so busy with errands that she
barely got a chance to sit down for some quality film time. The sunlit office
with windows that stretched from the floor to the ceiling was marvelous. Ample
sunlight shone in but that did nothing to warm the nerves in her body.

The man was gorgeous as hell and he made Blue
nervous.

Blue Monroe never got nervous around a man.
But this wasn’t just any man. She watched him as he keyed in some information
on his silver laptop on his desk. He had told her he wanted to discuss a few
things but decided to respond to some urgent emails. She noted his fingers
brushes against the keys. His long fingers were slender and his skin looked
smooth, glowing tanned and healthy. His fingernails were a healthy in appearance
too. Something she’d learned in a health class in college. You could tell a lot
about a person’s diet through their fingernails.

“I’m impressed by your work, Miss Monroe.
You show up here early before dawn and yet you leave late, which, by the way,
is not necessary.” She loved the way Zack highlighted all her strong points and
encouraged her as he did his employees. She thought she would be working for a
boss from hell, but Zack was kind to everyone from the garden help to the
garbage men who came to collect the rubbish. A true man treats all people in
society well.

That impressed the hell out of Blue. The
man was solid with a heart of gold and a body of steel. So…unreachable to her!

Oh, why couldn’t she ever land a good guy?

“Thank you. I just want to make sure I get
all the work done.”

“You are very passionate. I admire that you
only proffer kind words. I know some of the older staff members can be quite a
challenge to work with.”

“I always give people the benefit of the
doubt, Zack. Life’s too short to…”

Oh, God! That was embarrassing she lost her
train of thought. There she went again.
 
Why did Zack have that mind-bending effect on her?

Her eyes kept drawing to his sweet lips.
They looked so irresistible.
So…kissable.
And his classic
facial features.
His perfect nose, his marvellous chiselled
cheekbones and dark, lovely eyes that captivated her.
Was this man even
aware of how enchantingly gorgeous he was?

Stop
it, Blue. Focus on your job. He is so way out of your league. Don’t even go
there, girl. You’ll just be making a damned fool of yourself.

She remembered seeing clippings online of Zack
with gorgeous Hollywood actresses, socialites and super models. An actress and
super model, Blue was not!

“What are you thinking, Miss Monroe?”
Zack’s silky, smooth deep voice interrupted her fantasy daydream.

“Um…” She swallowed hard. He caught her
gaping at him, didn’t he? How embarrassing.

“Excuse me?” she finally squeezed through
her nerve-tightened throat. She felt the color drain from her face.

“You seemed to be gazing intently. I want
to know what you were thinking about.” He leaned back in his leather chair
behind his desk. His hair shined as the sun shone through the windowpane behind
him creating a divine halo.

She thought she could see his luscious lips
curl at the sides slightly.
Was he amused by her ogling
him? Well, she was not one of his corporate groupies. She was going to keep
herself in check and not give him that smug satisfaction.

She cleared her throat and drew in a deep
breath, hoping he wouldn’t notice how incredibly inadequate she felt. “I was
just thinking about the angles of the documentary.” Blue shuffled some of her
notes in front of her.

Zack casually leaned back further and
propped his leg up over his knee. “Go on.”

“W-well. I think it’s good that we center
on the history of the winery and vineyard and the reason you decided to keep
everything…contained.”

He nodded thoughtfully. A grin of amusement
curled his lips again. “Was that all you were thinking?”

“Excuse me?”

“It seemed to me that you had your mouth
open,” he said, his eyes dropping to her lips, which caused her to
subconsciously lick them.

This was not working out very well for her.
Blue had never been so hot for a guy like this and he was not making it easy
for her. Was this some sort of test?

Have
mercy. Please let me not screw this up
.

All she could think of was throwing her
notes on the ground, leaping over his desk, scattering his notes aside as she
did so, and sucking the life out of him with a passionate kiss. She wanted to
feel his firm body with her own hands and enjoy pleasuring him but she had to
get her mind away from that all.

She clearly must have been working way too
hard. She was having uncontrollable erotic thoughts about this man. It both
thrilled and frightened her at the same time.

She could feel the sexual power from across
the table. It was too palpable. Blue reached for a glass of water on the side
table and took a long swig.

“If you’re going to work around me, Miss
Monroe, you’ll need to get used to my…sense of humor. I often put people on the
spot to see how they react. It’s good practice.”

“No, it isn’t.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Because. It’s mind games.”

“Who’s playing mind games?”

“Well…”
Be
careful what you say, Blue.

“Miss Monroe, life is stressful as it is.
Work can be even more so. Our motto here at Romero Winery and Vineyard is ‘work
hard, play harder.’”

“Of course.” Blue pulled out her notepad
and began taking notes. “I’ve read about your philosophies.”

“And you’ve probably heard that as many as
ninety-nine percent of doctors' visits stem from stress-related illnesses.”

Blue swallowed hard. “Yes.”

“Having a sense of humor is not just the
ability to tell jokes, but the ability to
take
a joke.” Zack’s expression melted into a warm smile.

Blue smiled, sheepishly. “Sorry.” It was
then she remembered not long ago seeing and hearing the vineyard workers cheerfully
having fun while pruning the vines. They even enjoyed a laughter session. It
was refreshing to see a
highly-energized
, positive
work environment. She had experiences at her job at Channel 31 News as anything
but cheerful and positive. There was a whole lot of backbiting, backstabbing
and backbreaking work going on there. She loved reporting and worked with some
fine co-workers but all it took was a few sour grapes to spoil what could
otherwise be a healthy work environment. There didn’t seem to be any workplace
politics going on at Romero Winery and Vineyard.
None that
she could sense, anyway.
That in and of itself spoke volumes about their
boss, Zack Romero.

“No need to be apologetic. I noticed how
stressed out you appeared when you got out of your car today.”

BOOK: The Playboy Billionaire (The Romero Brothers, Book 3)
5.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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